Choosing the right baby carrier for you and your little one can be such a personal choice. What feels comfortable, easy to put on and fit your body shape is different person to person. Ideally you should try on a baby carrier before you buy just like you’d try on an item of clothing. To make sure it fits, suits you and makes you feel confident.
Baby carriers can be such a valuable parenting tool. Whether you’re using a baby carrier as part of a parenting philosophy (for example, Attachment Parenting), or simply for convenience (have you ever tried to push a shopping trolley and a pram at the same time?!) a baby carrier can be a new parenting essential.
Before I dive into the product reviews and recommendations I always like to bring parents attention to babywearing safety tips. TICKS is a great acronym for ensuring that you’re wearing baby correctly and safely in any baby carrier.
However, if you want to keep it a little simpler, another great check is “Visible and Kissable”. Can you see baby’s face? Can you kiss the top of their head?
Moby Move – RRP $199
The Moby Move is fairly new to the market but quickly becoming a very popular carrier. It’s easy to see why! The Moby Move offers everything parents are looking for in a Soft Structured Carrier – at a very reasonable price point.
The Moby Move is suitable for newborns all the way to toddlers up to 20kgs. The panel adjusts easily and gradually as Baby grows to ensure optimal positioning for their legs and back. Also the panel is quite large compared to similar structured carriers, so it really will accommodate larger toddlers or even preschoolers easily.
It offers 4 carry positions – parent facing, world facing, hip and a back carry – so it does everything parents need a carrier to do.
The Moby Move is also very comfortable and supportive, easy to use, very adjustable for parents of a range of sizes and heights, and also is made from cooling sweat wicking mesh. So ideal for summer or active parents. (In winter it’s easy to just add additional layers for both Bub and Parent to keep warm.)
Overall, I think the Moby Move is a great, all round, soft structured carrier with a wide appeal.
Moby Classic Stretchy Wrap – RRP $79.95
The Moby Classic Stretchy Wrap is another very popular Moby product, and I’d say stretchy wraps are more what Moby is known for as a brand. There’s really not as much to talk about when it comes to stretchy wraps in terms of features. Stretchy wraps are all more-or-less the same. They’re approximately 5 meters of stretchy material that has been weight tested to withstand the weight of carrying a child. The instructions for the optimal way to wrap and tie might vary slightly between brands, the result is often the same.
So the reason I love Moby Stretchy wraps is simply the price point. They’re a no fuss, quality product, at an affordable price point. I’d recommend a Moby Classic stretchy wrap to parents who aren’t sure if they’re planning to babywear, because if you don’t use it, it’s not a huge investment. But if you find yourself with a fractious newborn who doesn’t ever want to be put down at home, or refuses to stay in their pram, a Moby Classic wrap is quick to use and compact enough to squish up into your nappy bag or under your pram – just in case.
I will be creating a Moby Classic wrap video review with full how-to instructions soon! So watch this space!
Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh – RRP $349
Ergobaby have been market leaders for baby carriers in Australia for many years and currently their top seller is the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh. Like the Moby Move, it does everything that most new parents are looking for in a carrier. It’s suitable from birth to 20kgs, and also does all 4 carry positions, (parent facing, world facing, hip and back carry). You do pay a little bit more for the Ergobaby brand compared to the Moby Move. If you read my Moby Move review I do go through the key differences between these incredibly popular, versatile, comfortable and easy to use carriers.
Ergobaby Omni 360 comes in two fabric types. There’s the Cool Air Mesh, which is by far the most popular and more premium product of the two, and also the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cotton.
Overall the Ergobaby Omni 360 has held it’s position as the best selling baby carrier for good reasons.
Ergobaby Embrace – RRP $179
The Ergobaby Embrace is a reasonably new product and unlike anything else that Ergobaby have brought out before. It’s essentially a hybrid carrier, half way between a soft structured buckle carrier and a stretchy wrap. Or half way between a Mei Tai and a Soft Structured Carrier in terms of structure and feel.
Firstly, I am completely in love with the fabric of the Ergobaby Embrace. It is the softest, more luxurious fabric, I’ve ever felt on any baby carrier (and I’ve touched a lot of baby carriers). It’s absolutely divine.
The Ergobaby Embrace is easy to use once you’ve gotten the hang of how to fold the waistband over depending on the size of baby, but the instructions for how to put the carrier are very clear and even sewn into the carrier to make it easier for new parents.
It’s designed for newborns and has a weight limit of 11.3kgs, which is about an average 1 year old. The Ergobaby Embrace only offers two carry positions – parent facing for your newborn, and then forward facing for a bit bigger baby.
I think the Ergobaby Embrace is a great option for parents who like the idea of a stretchy wrap – the soft fabric, the compactness, the affordability – but are looking for the ease of use you get from a structured carrier with buckles. This is perfect as well if you only imagine yourself babywearing for the first year – which is when most parents babywear. Some parents don’t need the option of a high weight limit and the ability of back carry.
Baby Tula Explore – RRP $329
The Tula Explore is another carrier that I would say does everything. Newborn to 20kgs, all carry positions (parent facing, world facing, hip, and back carry). The big point of difference with the Tula Explore is it is a fashion and luxury brand. Where most baby carrier aim for universal appeal by sticking to safe and neutral colours – black, grey, blues etc. Tula as a brand embraces personal tastes and aesthetics with a huge range of bright and bold patterns and colours. Occasionally other baby carrier brands will bring out some brighter colours and patterns, but I just don’t think anyone else reads markets and trends like Tula.
The Tula Explore comes in every colour in the rainbow – including actual rainbows. And they’re not just beautiful, but beautifully made. They do sit in a league of their own in terms of quality of materials. Which is reflected in the price point. They also are a bit of an exclusive product, because you won’t find them in most baby retailers. So in most instances you won’t get to touch and try before you buy, as for most people they will have to order the Tula Explore online.
MiaMily Hipster Plus – RRP $219.95
Hip seats do seem to be growing in popularity in Australia as people see that they are a very versatile alternative to a soft structured carrier. The MiaMily Hipster Plus features a very wide and supportive velcro waist band, excellent storage inside the hipseat itself which is a great feature, as well as the ability to remove the panel, so it can be used as a hands-free carrier or as a supportive hands-on hipseat, which is great for ferrying little ones around the house or offering you more support for your back and shoulders when you’re cradling a new baby in your arms.
The MiaMily Hipster Plus is a great year-round carrier as it has a mesh panel for breathability that can also be enclosed to keep baby cosy and warm in cooler weather.
The MiaMily Hipster Plus can be made suitable for a newborn with the addition of a newborn insert – that is sold separately. Otherwise it can be used on it’s own from approximately 4-6 months (depending on your baby’s size and development) and up to 20kgs.
One of the things I love about Hipseats is they’re great for parents who are inexperienced with babywearing to start back carrying their bigger baby or toddler. A lot of parents buy structured carriers specifically for travel or hiking and so they want to be able to load their bub onto their back themselves. I’ve definitely seen that parents are a lot more confident back carrying for the first time when they have something to put their baby onto, ie, the hipseat.
Personally, I think the MiaMily Hipster Plus is an ideal follow on carrier for when Baby has outgrown a stretchy wrap or sling, or parents who are looking at starting babywearing when Baby is 6+ months old. I think infant inserts are another thing for new parents to learn how to use correctly and introduce potential for error. However, with proper instruction and some practice the MiaMily Hipster Plus is perfectly safe and appropriate for newborns.
Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier – RRP $249
I don’t think there is anything quite like the Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier in the Australian market. I think that while some of the above carriers have more of a broader appeal, the 4D Cross Back Carrier does definitely fulfill a niche and meets some very specific needs in the market.
Firstly, there are some limitations for the Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier. Unlike the other soft structured carriers on this list the Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier doesn’t offer the option of forward facing or a back carry.
Though the two carry positions it does offer – parent facing and a very usable hip carry – both are positions that allow parent and child to maintain eye contact.
The Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier has been designed not just to be used as a way of transporting baby or toddler, but very much for fostering bonding, closeness and communication between parent and child.
So rather than transitioning your older baby or toddler to your back when they get too heavy to carry on your front, the Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier offers “4 Dimensions” of support to make it easier to carry your bigger kid on your front or hip for longer.
It is also designed as a follow on carrier – from 5kgs (approximately 3-4 months old) – but to make up for having a higher minimum weight, it offers a mind blowing 50kg weight limit. Which is completely unheard of. Most carriers have a weight limit of 20kgs. The Mamaway 4D Cross Back Carrier more than doubles that!
That said, most parents are still only going to use the carrier until toddlerhood or preschool years, however to me that 50kg weight limit is an indication of the quality and strength of the carrier, rather than a recommended weight range.
If you have any questions about the above carriers, or there is any other baby carriers you would like to see us review, please comment below or get in touch. We’re always happy to help.
Also check out all our babywearing reviews and articles here.
And you’ll find many of the above carriers available to buy in our Marketplace.